US Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017

zerofay32

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I'll be flying to Kentucky from Ohio. Weather so far is looking promising. :thumbup: Everyone be safe out there.
 

NukeET

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Soul-crushing traffic may plague the total solar eclipse — these maps reveal the worst choke points

http://www.businessinsider.com/solar-eclipse-car-traffic-travel-delay-maps-2017-8/#3-sabetha-kansas-278-million-people-in-range-12

Interesting analysis of Google Maps and GPS data. It shows the, driveshed data for the spots on Interstate highways where the path of totality crosses them.

My "destination" is #2 on the list - 35.8 million people within "driving distance". Working on a Plan 'B'.
 

Andy44

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Yeah, it's gonna be rough. My plan is to try to stay away from Interstates, but with GPS everyone's gonna be thinking the same thing. I can't leave until tomorrow evening so I may have to fight through the night to get there. I still don't really have a "destination" yet, just trying to find a road that takes me into the totality and maybe if I'm lucky I can find a diner or something to hang out in until it's time to get the photo gear set up.
 

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I go to college in Huntsville, Alabama. So close and yet so far, especially with the expected traffic.
 
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Blake

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Soul-crushing traffic may plague the total solar eclipse — these maps reveal the worst choke points

http://www.businessinsider.com/solar-eclipse-car-traffic-travel-delay-maps-2017-8/#3-sabetha-kansas-278-million-people-in-range-12

Interesting analysis of Google Maps and GPS data. It shows the, driveshed data for the spots on Interstate highways where the path of totality crosses them.

My "destination" is #2 on the list - 35.8 million people within "driving distance". Working on a Plan 'B'.

We are headed out tomorrow morning and we are going as far east in Idaho as you can get. The quickest route is via Idaho Falls, but there are back routes if that gets backed up. We have school starting on Tuesday so we have to get back. Its getting back that has me worried. That and refilling our tanks.

Edit:
Good news: The weather at our destination has been upgraded to Sunny. A week ago it was possible rain.
 
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MaverickSawyer

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I'm aiming to leave the Seattle region by 0600 local tomorrow and beat feet for eastern Oregon. I'm going to dry camp in the Umatilla National Forest, right under the center of the path of totality, then start to drive home as soon as totality ends. (I've seen partial eclipses before, so it's nothing exceptional to see that.)
 

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Leaving tomorrow by 7am, heading to NE Georgia, staying the night north of Atlanta.
 

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Watched it from my neighbor's house about 14:45 local.

In the half an hour before totality, I started scrambling around looking for something, anything, that would give me a clear view without blinding me. I tried mirroring it off the screen of my tablet--too bright--looking through a piece of computer paper--that didn't work:p--I even tried putting an old shirt over my face. The brightness was just barely tolerable, but I couldn't see clearly enough. I was thinking "Hey, I'm not out here to worry about what I look like:lol:

Finally ended up using my cell camera, and even got a few (blurry, meaningless) pictures.

But let me tell you something--the last time there was a total eclipse in the U.S., I was a year old. I've only seen something like that in books and videos. Seeing it with my own eyes was--mind-blowing, to say the least:hail:
 

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Couple of minutes of raw video from Denver.

A minute or so after max coverage.

 

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I just looked at the map for the 2024 eclipse. And found out it will be going over my mother-in-laws house. So i will be able to see a total before i die.
 

PhantomCruiser

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Constant reminders. As well as plenty of scares about 'uncertified' glasses. The view from the patio was fantastic! I woke up early and we watched the NASA channel for a bit, then went outside to observe.
I used a pair of binoculars to project the image onto our patio table, took a few pictures of that. But for the most part I ignored the camera, didn't want to be fiddling with it when I should be watching the show.
 

MaverickSawyer

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I was lucky enough to be able to get under the center of the path of totality in Eastern Oregon. Lemme tell you, totality is a COMPLETELY different situation than getting only most of the sun covered. Those two minutes were utterly priceless, and EVERYONE should partake in it if they can. It's... I really can't find words for it. Humbling, awe inspiring, utterly captivating... And far, FAR too brief.
 

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Just got back, I'll have more to post tomorrow.

What MaverikSawyer said: A partial eclipse and a total eclipse are two entirely different experiences.
 

zerofay32

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Saw the eclipse in Hopkinsville, KY. Traffic was crazy but we solved it by flying to and from Kentucky in a Cherokee 140. :thumbup: It was simply amazing.
 

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Andy44

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I was lucky enough to be able to get under the center of the path of totality in Eastern Oregon. Lemme tell you, totality is a COMPLETELY different situation than getting only most of the sun covered. Those two minutes were utterly priceless, and EVERYONE should partake in it if they can. It's... I really can't find words for it. Humbling, awe inspiring, utterly captivating... And far, FAR too brief.

This. I drove like a madman through the night for 7.5 hours to the middle of nowhere in South Carolina and am so glad I did.

Sleep-deprived, I wound up in a Wal-Mart parking lot hanging out with people from all over the place. At least one family was from Russia and there were others. I had glasses, so I was good. I was able to get some okay photos by holding the solar glasses over the lens of my old Fujifilm digital camera. As the sun became more and more obscured, the light around us got oddly dimmer. Not like a sunset, where it turns red, not at all, the light stayed the same mid-day color but just got dimmer.

And when totality hit it was like someone flipped off a light switch, instantly it got dark as night, the sun became this weird black hole with a corona around it, and there were stars and planets visible all around it! On the horizon, clouds were still sunlight in every direction. When the sun rose on the other side of the moon we got that amazing diamond ring, the crowd gasped.

Totality is waaay different than a partial, an amazing experience!
 

Blake

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Our location for totality was a farm on the eastern side of the Teton Valley in eastern Idaho. The farm is up above the valley a bit with pastures and wheat fields laid down to the west. The owner is a relative of my wife's and he let us park our trailer in one of his pastures. Dragging the trailer up from Utah was a bit of a pain, but it was nice to have a bed, toilet, food etc. when needed. Especially for the trip home when we ended up in a backup heading into Aspen Junction, which is where traffic from parts of Idaho and Jackson Hole merge.

For totality I had decided to take minimal pictures. They don't do justice to the view, and there would be plenty of pictures of the same thing by people with better equipment and techniques than I could provide. Instead I wanted to observe the environment and mostly just share the experience with my wife and two boys.

The partial eclipse leading up to totality was what I had experienced in eclipses past, the noticeable darkening of the environment and the odd shadows. A few minutes before totality my wife, two boys and myself walked out into a pasture where we could see the eclipse and the valley and mountains to the west. I wanted to see if we could observe the shadow’s approach. I had a pair of solar glasses in one hand to keep tabs on the sun, but otherwise I was watching the environment.

Deep into 90% the world is very odd. We had noon shadows under a clear blue sky but it was way too dark. You wonder if this is what it is like to go blind. The shadows make what my boys call ‘witches fingers’ where the crescent of the sun creates distorted and bent shapes.

As we were playing with our shadows my wife said ‘the mountains are dark’. To the west something had approached that is difficult to describe. Behind the mountains the horizon was orange as if it were sunset, yet the sun was still above, the sky was blue and we were still casting shadows, but out west something was there and it was coming our way. Things happened quickly. We watched the entire valley darken noticeable over the course of several seconds like someone was turning down a dimmer switch. The orange to the west spread to cover the entire horizon. Our shadows went away and in the thin dry mountain air it got cold quickly.

We have all been under a cloud as it moves over the sun. The world outside of that shadow is still there, sunny and bright. My wife and I stood in that pasture and watched our entire world go dark from horizon to horizon. A primal part of my brain was in panic mode and a toddler back by the farm house was in melt-down, his mind having processed all of what was happening that it could.

Then I looked up where the sun was supposed to be. This is why you need to see totality for yourself if you can ever make it. The sun, which you have grown up with and are familiar with is just gone. In its place is this thing. You have seen pictures of it and you know what it is, but now this thing is where your sun is supposed to be. It is startling beautiful. Nothing in nature prepares you for this. You can spend a lifetime observing the sky both day and night and see many wonderful and beautiful things, but nothing prepares you for this. It is literally other-worldly and you are afforded a peek behind the curtain for a brief moment.

My wife and my two boys watched. There is way more to take in than the little over two minutes allows and as soon as you can compose yourself it’s gone. The lights come on and you are left in this euphoric state. You can only console yourself with the knowledge that the beauty you just saw is still there. It’s always there, just hidden.

I understand how people become addicted to chasing totality.
 

Andy44

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Blake said:
In its place is this thing. You have seen pictures of it and you know what it is, but now this thing is where your sun is supposed to be. It is startling beautiful. Nothing in nature prepares you for this.

Yes, it is like the Eye of Sauron gazing directly into your soul. It's no surprise some people have found this upsetting.
 
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